Volunteers needed for ‘different’ club

Sadie Packard enjoys a trip on  Ecclesbourne Valley Railway.
Sadie Packard enjoys a trip on Ecclesbourne Valley Railway.

DO something different – that’s the message from a Matlock based club seeking new members and volunteers.

Trips to the cinema, days out and shopping are being offered to people who would otherwise struggle to get out – thanks to three dedicated helpers.

Members of the Do Something Different Club enjoy a trip to the cinema.

Members of the Do Something Different Club enjoy a trip to the cinema.

The Mercury’s Lend us a Hand campaign, which aims to get more people volunteering in the community and raise the profile of the area’s voluntary groups, is this week highlighting the Do Something Different Club run by David Brown. Christine Smith and Sadie Packard.

The club has been running for almost a year and meets monthly.

David Brown, of Darley Dale, who used to work in social services and also volunteers at Denefields Lunch Club, saw a demand in the community for the club.

He said: “People were saying to me there’s not enough going on so we came up with the idea to take them out to different places each month.

“Members decide where they want to go then we sort it out with transport.”

“We have gone for trips all over the Dales to places they thought they wouldn’t visit again.”

The club, which currently has around 12 members who are mainly elderly and disabled, is appealing for more drivers to come forward.

Christine, who has been involved with community work for over 30 years, said: “The biggest help for us would be new drivers because it takes us nearly an hour to pick up everyone and it adds an hour to their trip.”

So far this year members have visited Tissington Well Dressings, had a trip to Tansley Garden Centre and enjoyed a cream tea in their cafe.

The club also took a trip on the newly opened Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Wirksworth to Duffield line and went to the cinema to see the new Jane Eyre film which was shot at Haddon Hall.

David said: “The visit to the cinema was a big success. Some of the members had not been to the pictures for many years so they were disappointed to find out there was no break to buy an ice cream anymore. We will be doing a bit of Christmas shopping at MacArthur Glen this month and then it’s off to Chatsworth in December to see the Christmas decorations and we are aiming to get to Youlgrave to see the Panto at the end of January.”

Christine added: “The trip on the train was wonderful. Some of the members used to go to work on the train and had not been on it for 40 years. They made everyone feel so welcome.

“Members tell us they really enjoy it and say it’s lovely to get out and ask us when the next trip will be.

“It seems to be making quite a difference to their lives and they’re meeting new people to talk to.”

The club relies on donations and has received grants from the Ernest Bailey Trust, Derbyshire Dales District Council, Derbyshire County Council, North Derbyshire Voluntary Action and Age Concern.

If you want to know more about being a volunteer or becoming a member of the group you can call David on 01629 732585 or Chris 01629 583512 or Sam Tock, volunteering development officer, based at the Volunteer Centre at Bakewell’s Agricultural Business Centre on 01629 810907.